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  • Pearl Lorentzen

Crossroad gardens

The other week, my sister and I went to the University of Alberta Botanic Gardens in Devon, Alberta (not to be confused with the Devonian Gardens, which are not in Devon).

Some lilies and the Aga Khan garden through the railing at the top. Photo by Pearl Lorentzen.

The garden has various sections. It was like walking from one horticultural world to another. Each of these carved out of the parkland biome. It strengthened my bond with my sister and reminded me of various trips I've taken, books I've read, and shows I've watched.


As a writer, it is important to make connections between characters, integral plot points, and ultimately with your reader. Part of the editing process is to find those unnecessary connections that muddy the water. Another is strengthening crucial images and rabbit trails.

A frog statue in the fountain in the stairs at the Aga Khan garden. Photo by Pearl Lorentzen.

I've recently discovered travel documentaries, some of which mention the history behind Islamic gardens such as the one at the Taj Mahal. I also just finished reading 'The Map of Knowledge: A Thousand-Year History of How Classical Ideas Were Lost and Found' by Violet Moller. It is an intriguing look at seven cities most of the Muslim between the fall of Rome and the Renaissance. Gardens, hydraulics, and botany were important aspects in these cultures especially in the practice of medicine.


When I was in Jordan several years ago, I noticed that the age of a house could be guessed by the size of the trees planted inside the wall. Only brand new houses didn't have any. However, there wasn't a blade of grass in sight. The one time I saw a grass soccer field it looked incredibly strange.

A bug in a wild or semi-wild rose in an assortment of connected gardens. Photo by Pearl Lorentzen.
A folly in a British style garden. Photo by Pearl Lorentzen.

Follies can be found in many traditional grand British gardens. At this garden, there was also a pump jack down the way behind some lilacs.

We found a very likely poisonous mushroom just off the beaten trail. Photo by Pearl Lorentzen.
Water lilies. Photo by Pearl Lorentzen.

Water lilies aren't common in Alberta. Every time I see one it reminds me of Japan or England.

I think these are delphiniums. Photo by Pearl Lorentzen.
No idea, but I liked the photo. Photo by Pearl Lorentzen.

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